Did you ever wonder if men feel as overwhelmed, overworked, and frustrated as women do, on a daily basis?
I did some digging to find the answers.
I spent time looking at the three areas of what it means to be overwhelmed, overworked, and frustrated.
Here is what I found.
Let’s look at being overwhelmed first: Those of us who are pleasers (and women make up the majority of pleasers) who stay in that place of feeling like there is not one more ounce of energy to do another thing. This can bring tears, anger, depression, and all types of physical symptoms like headaches, heartaches, and hypertension. The list is long.
Look, when you can’t say NO it’s just like any other addiction. It takes over and leaves little room for honest thinking about what you should be doing. You become a puppet to the pattern you developed, that began when you watched and reacted to your parents or caretakers who helped mold your responses.
Saying YES to please others can be very comforting initially. You are liked, you are talked about in flattering terms. You are “the good one.”
However, like any addiction, the stakes keep getting higher as people want more and more from you and you have no more to give. Tough spot to be in.
Full disclosure. I, myself, am a recovering pleaser.
Here’s what I discovered as I began the journey from pleaser to its positive opposite, being a truth teller.
I had to learn that to NOT SPEAK UP is eventually destructive. It takes time and practice to think of yourself first, or at least, not ignore your personal wants and needs.
So, as far as overwhelmed, women win the title.
Let’s move to overworked. In our world the typical 9 to 5 job is virtually a myth. Just about everyone works more than 40 hours a week. Many who are in positions of leadership work an 80- hour week.
When stress is high, we all, men and women, tend to finally “blow our tops.” That is when the drama queen and king show up. One way to reduce stress is to yell and make the situation look much worse than it is. For a brief time, the release of spewing out not only the annoyance of a situation, also using colorful language really does help. At least, for the moment.
However, this is a defense mechanism that can only go so far. After the initial explosion, there is always debris that must be cleared away. Sure, it feels good to take a plate and smash it to make a statement. However, then the splattered plate must be cleaned up. And words said in anger with lots of finger pointing also must be cleared up.
In the realm of overworked, where the drama queen or king does NOT SHUT UP, it’s about equal for men and women. Those who can harness this energy can become great storytellers and use the energy in a positive way.
The third area I considered are those who are frustrated and yet, do NOT OWN UP. This looks different for men and women. However, when you don’t own up to what has happened and are unwilling to be accountable the results are equally disastrous.
Women who do not own up to their part in any situation are seen as victims. They tend to bow their heads, say they were never told what to do, or some other lame excuse like that. This is the ‘deer in the headlight’s’ syndrome.
When women see their part in any given situation, they can become explorers who will look for better and new ways to handle what is going on. This is a great energy boost to get up and get going. Frustration melts away as more creative and purposeful ways of handling life’s situations are explored.
Men who do NOT OWN UP, when they are frustrated, become persecutors (aka bullies) and tend to point their index finger at everyone else. It becomes, “he said, she said, they said” with no looking inward at oneself.
If men can finally see their part in any given situation, they become visionaries. They take that finger pointing at others and point it toward the sky, painting a picture of future possibilities.
Thus, when it comes to frustration, women and men handle the situations differently. Yet, I say this one is also a toss-up on who is the more frustrated.
I would love to hear your thoughts about how you and those around you handle being overwhelmed, overworked and frustrated. This becomes even more apparent during this holiday season. So, it’s a great time to begin to observe your behavior and make a commitment to change.